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RSF asks govt to respect right to report

RSF asks govt to respect right to report

Apr 20, 2011 - 14:04

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): An international journalists' protection group on Wednesday condemned Afghan security forces for obstructing reporters trying to cover suicide attacks in the country.

In the latest case, the suicide attack on the defence ministry in Kabul, journalists were denied entry into the building, the Reporters Without Borders, also known as RSF, said in a statement.

"We understand that, in such serious circumstances, protecting civilians must be the priority for the security forces. But news coverage is also a priority and must be respected," the watchdog said.

Without media coverage, it added, there was a real risk of the facts being covered up and the public misinformed in a way that suited the government and its allies. "Without proper reporting, it will not be possible to rally the public's support for the fight against terrorism."

Following Monday's suicide attack, more than 100 journalists went to the ministry to cover the immediate aftermath but the security personnel denied most of them them entry into the building. Several journalists were beaten by guards and were mistreated by soldiers and policemen when they protested.

RSF noted it was not the first time that the Afghan government had tried to censor news coverage of Talibaninfo-icon activity. In March 2010, it recalled, the interior ministry suggested a ban on all live media coverage of Taliban attacks.


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